Canucks At Sabres Preview: America! **** Yeah!

Time Thurs. 4:00 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pac, Sportsnet Van
Season Series -
Last Meeting
5-3 Sabres, March 3/12
The Enemy Die By The Blade Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 1-8-9
Hodgson: 1-5-6

CANUCKS
CATEGORY
SABRES
4-3-0 SEASON RECORD 1-6-1
8 POINTS 3
8th CONFERENCE POSITION 15th
Won 1
STREAK Won 1
- LAST 10 -
2-1-0 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 0-3-1
2.86 (12)
GOALS PER GAVE AVERAGE 1.25 (30)
3.14 (24) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.62 (15)
0.81 (19) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 0.50 (29)
10.0 (27) POWER PLAY % 10.3 (26)
91.3 (2) PENALTY KILL % 84.6 (8)
51.1 (12) FACEOFF WINS % 45.1 (24)
142 (14) HITS
202 (4)
105 (6) BLOCKED SHOTS 101 (10)
26 (13) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 28 (16)
NHL.COM

America? I love America!

I verbally slaughtered Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins and David Booth in the last game preview post and lo and behold, Kesler breaks out with 2 goals against Philly while Higgins scores a goal and an assist. Kesler, Higgins and I text once in a while and I know they are avid Nucks Misconduct readers. So I'm sure they read my challenging of them and responded accordingly. All is forgiven there. Big bro hugs were given (via text).

Booth however, is not tuning in to NM. Not since I told him that there is no God and that Pentecostals are brainwashed. So he didn't get the memo about sucking the big suck.

Alors, Booth remains on my shit list. Now 1 goal and 1 assist in 7 games this season. 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 19 games! Woo! Where did we find this gold mine of scoring? Go ahead and pull out the injury excuses but they are falling upon my deaf ears. The guy doesn't fit in. It doesn't matter where you put him in the lineup. The only spot he belongs is on the bench, giving his American teammates a drink and a towel. Or wiping the Sedins' butts between periods. Or maybe he should Rome (I mean, roam) Robson street with a big black book in his hand, preaching that the end is nigh and giving bear meat to the guys pushing all their belongings around in a shopping cart. Too far? OK fine, I love Jesus too, David. The Big Guy is in your corner, but it's up to YOU to make it happen on the ice. Now pretend the net is a desperate person in need and drive the Word home! Halleluiah!

PROJECTED ROSTERS

CANUCKS

Sedin-Sedin-Santa (don't cool off, Santa. Keep on giving!)

Higgins-Kesler-Hansen

Booth-Schroeder-Kassian (Kass is on my shortlist for being on my shit list)

Sestito-Richardson-Weise

Garrison-Bieksa

Hamhuis-Tanev

Stanton-Weber

Luongo

SABRES

Vanek-Babyface-Ott

Foligno-Ennis-Stafford

Zemgus Girgensons (wow, cool name)- Johan Larsson - Brian Flynn

Scott (meathead) - Porter - McCormick

Ehrhoff - Pysyk

Tallinder - Myers

Weber - Rasmus Ristolainen

Miller

A Zemgus and Rasmus on the same team. Sounds like names for fungus or an infection of sorts. Never even heard of Buffalo's 3rd line before...which makes them a sure shot to win this one!

CODY HODGSON

I always smelled something foul with this kid. I didn't WANT to. Something in the body language. Anyway, on Wednesday he told reporters:

"I’ve been hearing all this stuff about my dad being involved with the team (Canucks) and making calls to the team and I wanted to tell everyone that my dad had nothing to do with it. This isn’t Pee Wee hockey where the dad can call up the coach and interfere with what’s going on. This is professional hockey and that sort of thing doesn’t happen. He never called the team. You just can’t do that. That’s been bothering me for a long time and I want to clear that up. I’m not sure where all of that got started, but my agent handled the stuff with the team."

"And another thing: I never once asked for more ice time when I was in Vancouver, even though the media asked me every day if I thought I should be playing more. I was just happy to be playing in the NHL when I was there at that stage of my career. When you guys in the media would ask me, I told them then that I hadn’t asked for more ice time. There’s no way I was saying one thing to them and then going in behind closed doors and doing something else. I wouldn’t ever do that. That just isn’t me. Some day I’ll talk about my time in Vancouver, but not right now."

Oh do tell! So we have to wait for your tell-all book to come out? Who's your publisher? Dad? OK, too far. Sorry Cody.

At the end of the 2011-12 season Mike Gillis said:

"I spent more time on Cody's issues than every other player combined on our team the last three years."

Bazinga?

Cody's personal trainer Gary Roberts fired back, saying:

"I listened to Mike Gillis the other day and my impression was, 'Are you kidding me?'

"If anybody knew this kid, this young man, to know what he went through mentally and physically for two summers trying to find out what the heck was wrong with him -- of course they dealt with his issues more than anybody else in the organization because he was injured and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.

"It almost was like they thought he didn't want to work. Well, I can tell you that this kid out of all the kids that I train, he's up there in the Stamkos group as far as commitment and determination. What I tell him, he does, so I know he's coachable and I love working with him."

"I talked to Cody after this came out with Gillis. I know he's on vacation, and I said, 'Hey, I know you went through a lot of stress. How are you feeling about some of those comments?' He said, 'Gary, I've dealt with a lot of stuff there in the last three years, and I'm just going to take the high road.'

"For me, I'd like to be the guy that looks at Mike Gillis and says, 'You're a moron.' It doesn't really do anybody any good other than the fact that Mike Gillis looks like, as they say on TSN, a dud."

Drama! Man, that was a lousy time, hey?

There was even a back and forth between a fan and Hodgson's agent Rich Winter on Twitter soon after Cody was traded. You can view the contents of that here. Even there, Winter, like Cody did on Wednesday, denied that Father Hodgson was busting Canucks management's balls. But he did a lousy job of denying it.

Speculation it is then. Two sides to a coin.  Does it really matter? Not if Zack Kassian fulfills his potential. The loss of Hodgson just amplifies it until he does.

Given the Canucks' depth at center on the top 2 lines for the next several years (especially at that time), Cody wasn't going to make the top 6 unless there was injury or he played on the wing. In Buffalo he now has everything that he ever wanted: a top line center role, lots of minutes, and a fat paycheck. Good on him, right? I hate that we lost him anyway, especially when the Canucks' scoring dries up. But how about the Canucks kick his team's ass on Thursday? How about Kassian outshines Cody? It will make us feel better, won't it? Sometimes I can look back fondly on Hodgson's time here and remember this beautiful moment:

Suck on that, Bruins. But you are dead to me now, Hodgson (the "g" is silent).

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

Nathaniel Perlow: 3

Coach Ryan: 2

nucksandpucks: 2

Passive Voice: 2

Tim Burke: 2

Twitchy2010: 2

vancitydan: 2

Vancouverguy: 2

Zanstorm: 2

Brock: 1

Geordie Nuck: 1

gmonk33: 1

Tengeresz: 1

MORE VIDEO

The last time the Canucks and Sabres met:

An atrocious first period.

But the Sabres don't have Ville Leino anymore.

Booth scored 2 goals! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

Kassian scored too! Whaaaaaaaaa? May history repeat itself!

The title of this game preview has been brought to you by the Team America: World Police theme song (NSFW, but then, is any of my shit safe for work?):

GO AMERIC... I MEAN GO CANUCKS GO! GO BOOTH GO!

 photo booth_zps71c2f09b.jpg

"S-C-O-R-E....hmmmmm. Yep, I had better stick to 4-letter words!"

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